Your hot water heater won’t be around forever. However, there are things you can do to extend your water heater’s life and live in more comfort. By following these tips and knowing who to call for water heater repair and installation, you can keep your system from breaking down.
Water Heater Maintenance Tips
Whether you’re new to owning a home or you just haven’t given your water heater much thought, there are a few things you should know about maintenance. Doing all of the following can extend the length of your water heater’s life:
Know Your Type of Water Heater
Although all hot water heaters have the same ultimate goal, they don’t work the same way. And because of this, their maintenance needs vary. When you move into a new home, it’s essential to know some information about your system.
For one, you should know whether you have a tankless or traditional heater. Once you determine that, find out the age and manufacturer of the heater. In the event you have a broken water heater, knowing the warranty information is also useful. Typically, the sticker on the tank tells you everything you need to know. Keep in mind your system could be past its warranty.
Keep Items Away from Your Heater
If your heater is in the garage, you might be tempted to store your belongings near the heater. After all, the garage tends to be a catch-all for items. Unfortunately, your water heater needs space. You should always keep at least two feet of space free around your water heater.
If maintaining that space seems to be a problem, you may want to consider switching to a tankless heater. To save space, you can mount the heater on the wall because it’s only about the size of a briefcase.
Inspect the Pressure Relief Valve
The pressure relief valve is responsible for keeping your water heater from blowing up. When the pressure in the tank gets too high, the pressure relief valve allows the pressure to dissipate. If the valve doesn’t work, your water heater is a hazard.
You can test this valve by placing a bucket under the drain pipe. Lift up the pressure relief valve, and water should come out. If no water flows, you may need to replace the valve. Your local plumber can take on the job.
Adjust the Temperature
Although few people adjust the temperature on their water heater, there are many benefits to doing so. If you have kids or elderly people in your home, you may want to lower the water temperature and reduce the scalding risk. Decreasing the temperature also lowers your energy bill and can extend the life of your heater.
Be wary of lowering the temperature too much because there’s a risk of pathogens. If you have concerns regarding the temperature, you might want to call a plumber or check the manual for your heater.
Flush Your Water Heater Once a Year
Every year, your water heater builds up sediment. The only way to prevent the sediment from causing an issue is to flush the system. Although some people opt to do this on their own, flushing your system takes some plumbing knowledge.
First, you need to turn off the power to the water heater. Then, connect a garden hose to the drain spigot and place the other end of the hose down a drain. Open the drainage spigot to allow water and sediment to flow through the hose. Avoid touching the water, because it tends to get hot. Drain the tank for about five minutes, and switch the valve off. The easier way to flush your heater is to hire a professional for annual maintenance.
Water Heater Repair Tips
Even if you follow the maintenance tips above, you could be in need of water heater repair. These tips can help you handle a broken water heater:
Know Who to Call for Water Heater Repair and Installation
It’s almost inevitable that your water heater will fail at one point or another. For that reason, you should know who to call when your water heater fails. If your heater completely fails, your only way to restore your hot water is to call for an emergency repair. The longer you wait, the longer you need to live without hot water.
Before you’re in need of a repair, research a reputable plumbing company. The next time you have trouble with your system, call for immediate assistance.
Understand the Signs of Water Heater Failure
Putting off a water heater repair is one of the worst things you can do. If you call for a repair before too much time passes, you can prevent a more costly repair. Common signs of imminent trouble with hot water heaters include:
- Only cold water is available
- Your water is warm, but not hot
- There’s a rumbling noise from your water heater
- Rusty water comes out of your tap
- You notice a metallic smell or taste in your water
- A puddle of water is around or near your heater
When you notice an issue with your water heater, you should call immediately for a repair. A minor leak won’t get better on its own, and could eventually lead to property damage. By receiving a repair early enough, you may even be able to prevent needing to replace your system.
Know When to Replace Your Heater
A water heater only has a certain life span. Once the heater reaches the end of its lifespan, it will start to fail you. It might require frequent repairs and leave you wishing you had more hot water.
Instead of spending money on repairs every three months, you can completely replace the system. Opting for a new installation over a repair can save you money. The best way to tell if you need a new heater is to consider the age of your tank. If your system is ten years old or older, it’s time for a replacement.
If you have questions about your water heater or need water heater repair and installation, call us at Infinity Plumbing. We’re here to help.